Indonesia’s Aceh province continues public floggings despite social distancing rules

Indonesia’s ultra-conservative westernmost province of Aceh continues to punish perpetrators who committed what Aceh’s Shariah law deems a crime before Allah even amid the coronavirus crisis.

The latest punishment was carried out on six people by public flogging on April 21 despite a nationwide ban by the Indonesian government on mass gatherings amid the coronavirus pandemic. However, while public whippings in Aceh normally attract hundreds of spectators, only about a dozen onlookers attended the latest one.

Few people were seen carrying a face mask, observers noted, while the officials performing the flogging were, as it is custom, well hidden behind a cloth mask and a brown full-body uniform in order to conceal their identity.

Of the six people convicted by a Shariah court, four men were flogged 40 times with a rattan cane each for drinking alcohol, while an unmarried couple allegedly caught together in a hotel room were also given two dozen lashes each.

Officials carrying out the whipping said that they were keen to follow social distancing rules but also insisted that the pandemic “wouldn’t stand in the way to bring justice” in such cases.

Streamlining flogging procedures in times of the virus

The officials said that to comply with current conditions, they were cutting “unnecessary procedures” like the usual opening speech ahead of the actual flogging “to make it simpler,” and were limiting the number of people involved.

Aceh has a legal system based on Islamic law that allows for whipping for a range of charges, including gambling, adultery, drinking and selling alcohol, having gay, lesbian or pre-marital sex or immoral relations with a minor and even public cuddling.

Aceh this January also introduced a voluntary all-female flogging team to replace male staff punishing women found having violated the region’s Shariah law. Hardline lawmakers have repeatedly proposed introducing stoning for offenses deemed most serious from a Shariah viewpoint. Proposals are that, for instance, someone committing adultery should be stoned 100 times.

International organisations such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have condemned the punishments as “barbaric,” ”inhumane” and tantamount to torture. However, Aceh officials insist they were “far more lenient” in terms of flogging and other violent punishment than ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia and some other Muslim nations.



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Indonesia’s ultra-conservative westernmost province of Aceh continues to punish perpetrators who committed what Aceh’s Shariah law deems a crime before Allah even amid the coronavirus crisis. The latest punishment was carried out on six people by public flogging on April 21 despite a nationwide ban by the Indonesian government on mass gatherings amid the coronavirus pandemic. However, while public whippings in Aceh normally attract hundreds of spectators, only about a dozen onlookers attended the latest one. Few people were seen carrying a face mask, observers noted, while the officials performing the flogging were, as it is custom, well hidden behind...

Indonesia’s ultra-conservative westernmost province of Aceh continues to punish perpetrators who committed what Aceh’s Shariah law deems a crime before Allah even amid the coronavirus crisis.

The latest punishment was carried out on six people by public flogging on April 21 despite a nationwide ban by the Indonesian government on mass gatherings amid the coronavirus pandemic. However, while public whippings in Aceh normally attract hundreds of spectators, only about a dozen onlookers attended the latest one.

Few people were seen carrying a face mask, observers noted, while the officials performing the flogging were, as it is custom, well hidden behind a cloth mask and a brown full-body uniform in order to conceal their identity.

Of the six people convicted by a Shariah court, four men were flogged 40 times with a rattan cane each for drinking alcohol, while an unmarried couple allegedly caught together in a hotel room were also given two dozen lashes each.

Officials carrying out the whipping said that they were keen to follow social distancing rules but also insisted that the pandemic “wouldn’t stand in the way to bring justice” in such cases.

Streamlining flogging procedures in times of the virus

The officials said that to comply with current conditions, they were cutting “unnecessary procedures” like the usual opening speech ahead of the actual flogging “to make it simpler,” and were limiting the number of people involved.

Aceh has a legal system based on Islamic law that allows for whipping for a range of charges, including gambling, adultery, drinking and selling alcohol, having gay, lesbian or pre-marital sex or immoral relations with a minor and even public cuddling.

Aceh this January also introduced a voluntary all-female flogging team to replace male staff punishing women found having violated the region’s Shariah law. Hardline lawmakers have repeatedly proposed introducing stoning for offenses deemed most serious from a Shariah viewpoint. Proposals are that, for instance, someone committing adultery should be stoned 100 times.

International organisations such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have condemned the punishments as “barbaric,” ”inhumane” and tantamount to torture. However, Aceh officials insist they were “far more lenient” in terms of flogging and other violent punishment than ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia and some other Muslim nations.



Support ASEAN news

Investvine has been a consistent voice in ASEAN news for more than a decade. From breaking news to exclusive interviews with key ASEAN leaders, we have brought you factual and engaging reports – the stories that matter, free of charge.

Like many news organisations, we are striving to survive in an age of reduced advertising and biased journalism. Our mission is to rise above today’s challenges and chart tomorrow’s world with clear, dependable reporting.

Support us now with a donation of your choosing. Your contribution will help us shine a light on important ASEAN stories, reach more people and lift the manifold voices of this dynamic, influential region.

$
Personal Info

Donation Total: $10.00

 

 

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